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Where Money Really Does Grow on Trees
Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
May 27, 2010

critical_illness

Critical Illness insurance is a fairly new product in the history of insurance. The plans came about as a spinoff to the more common Cancer plans. The cancer plans typically pay a set amount of money for each treatment and type of treatment. There may also be a benefit for a hospital admission or stay due to cancer. The critical illness plans cover many more diseases then just cancer and in addition pay a much higher lump sum benefit. Typically the benefit trigger on a critical illness policy is just being diagnosed by a physician as having one of the covered diseases. On most policies that would include Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, Kidney Failure, Major Organ Transplant, and Paralysis. Some cover more diseases like Alzheimer’s, Blindness, Deafness, Burns and Loss of Speach. In addition critical illness policies often cover other things, but at a lower benefit like 25%. Cancer in Situ which is a cancer that has not spread, bypass surgery and even angioplasty.  Some policies will pay multiple times. So if you have a heart attack with a $50K policy you will get the $50K. Then if you continue to pay premiums and have a stroke you get another $50K. There is even one policy that pays 3 times. An example of premium is a 30 year old non smoker with a $50K policy costs about $23 per month.

So why does everyone need Critical Illness and what does this have to do with Money Power? Even though you may have health insurance, there will be some type of out of pocket expense that you will incur if diagnosed with one of these diseases. You may have to pay a deductible or copays or coinsurance. Not to mention you probably won’t be working for some time. Even if you have disability insurance there is often a waiting period where no benefits are payable and then they usually only cover 60%-70% of your salary. Critical Illness coverage can protect your money. By having critical illness insurance you can leave your savings in tact. You won’t be tempted to withdraw that 401K money because you have to pay your mortgage. Critical Illness is an insurance product that like all other insurance products, protects against risk. You never know if you will need it, but if you do you will be glad you made the purchase.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
May 19, 2010

senior-health-insurance-policy-736988

There are insurance companies that offer life insurance without the hassle. As you may know, when you complete an application for life insurance, the process can take months. First you have to go through the process of providing a blood and urine sample for inspection. This usually involves someone coming to your home to collect the samples. Then underwriting does their due diligence in checking your medical history. For most people, if they are approved it takes about two months to receive a policy.

Some companies offer products that you can apply for, go through underwriting, and receive a policy within a week. They have a streamlined underwriting process, without the blood and urine samples. They check your medical history with the MIB. No, it’s not Men In Black. It’s the Medical Information Bureau. They will also check your MVR or moving violations report and your prescriptions records. That’s it. Once they review your history they will issue a policy. You don’t have to go through the inconvenience of giving samples and waiting for a month or two.


insurance_rescind

Most health insurance carriers use data screening to identify individuals with cancer and other illnesses so that they can target them for rescinding coverage. This practice will no longer be allowed under the new health care reform laws. In fact many of the insurance companies have agreed to voluntarily stop the practice before that part of the bill goes into effect in September 2010. No wonder that critical illness is a leading cause of bankruptcy.

Photo Credit: kozumel


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Apr 28, 2010

kid_social

Child identity theft is a growing crime. In 2003 the Federal Trade Commission, the government agency that accepts identity theft complaints, received ove r 6,000 complaints of identity theft of children under the age of 18. In 2005 it was over 11,000. You can see that each year the trend is growing. One of the problems with child identity theft is that it often goes undiscovered for years. The first thing you can do to protect your child begins with registering your child for Social Security. Ask yourself if it is truly necessary to give out your childs Social Security Number. Sure, you will need it for tax purposes and you may need it for financial institutions, but otherwise there should be very few times you will need to give it out. Also look for clues that your childs information may have been leaked. If all of a sudden you begin receiving unsolicited credit card offers for your child and they’re 6, that is an indication that some investigation should begin.

There are several companies that will assist you with restoring identity and credit that has been stolen. There are even some, that for a few more dollars per month, will monitor credit reports for your name and report any activity. Most of these services range from $7-$15 per month. Some have an adult rate and a seperate child rate, while others cover the whole family for one cost.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Mar 24, 2010

healthbill

Yikes. As our Vice President stated “this is a big deal”. Maybe not those exact words, but it is a big deal. If nothing else, it means major changes to the norm. The new law creates risk and controls risk all over the place. Individuals, employers, and insurance companies will have to determine the amount of risk they are willing to accept in the years to come. Individuals will need to determine if their financial status affords them the ability to purchase coverage versus just taking the $695 annual penalty from the Government, and determine if money or coverage are more important. Employers will need to do the same given a $2000  annual penalty per employee. They may find it in their best interest to not offer health insurance and just take the penalty. Insurance companies need to do some major number crunching to determine the number of members they will need, and will be able to get, to be able to stay profitable given they will be mandated to take anyone regardless of health. On the other hand 32 million Americans may now have the ability to control some risk by being able to purchase health insurance that they were previously not eligible for.  Allegedly this new law will make health insurance more affordable to everyone, but I have not seen plans or an explanation of how that will happen. All of us will need to do some serious research in the coming years to determine the right path for us.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Jan 13, 2010

Many people don’t recognize the need for long term care insurance. The average cost for a semi-private room for 1 year is $68,000. The average stay in a LTC facility is 2.2 years. Most people would need to plan for that type of major expense. There is a general feeling among Americans that if they have the need for long term care that their family will take care of them in the home. Although that may be the case, at some point the level of medical assistance needed will surpass the ability of family. Home health care is much less expensive than care in a facility. The average is about $18,000 per year based on 3 visits from a healthcare professional per week. Medicare and health insurance do not pay for LTC. However if you have exhausted all of your assets you may be eligible for Medicaid assistance through your state. It is a last resort for many people as the thought of losing the majority of their assets in order to get the care they need is not something they want to think about. As with any insurance, LTC premiums are based on your age and therefore are less if you are younger when you enroll.

long_term_care


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Dec 30, 2009

identity-theft-protection-why[1]

These days people are more inclined to be more aware when it comes to their income and expenses. A recent Federal Trade Commission survey found that in 1 year, a total of 8.3 million Americans found that they were victims of Identity Theft. Not only is that lost money rarely recoverable, but there is also a dollar amount that can be attributed to the time spent re-establishing your identity with the Police, credit card companies, and other accounts. Another issue is that 56% of the victims don’t know how the information was stolen. Enrollment is some type of Identity Theft Protection program is a good way to help you. These companies monitor your credit for activity and monitor your social security number and other personal information on the Internet. It may not prevent identity theft from happening, but they can identify that it happened quickly and more important, help to re-establish your good name.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Nov 18, 2009

Risk Management is defined as the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events. It can not only be used for your financial planning, but also for everyday circumstances. For example, If you have a list of items that need to be completed by the end of week, you can identify, assess, and prioritize those items to minimize the risk to you. The risk may only be that you won’t complete them all within your timeline. We all use some level of risk management daily without realizing it. Some level of risk management is part of our natural ability to reason. Of course, some have more ability than others.


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